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Richmond nonprofit honors 2 attorneys with alumni award

Patrick Fang

Patrick Fang

A Richmond-based nonprofit honored two attorneys, including an Arlington corporate counsel attorney, with its annual alumni award earlier this summer.

The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, or LCLD, awarded its 8th annual Rick Palmore LCLD Alumni Award to Patrick Fang of Arlington and Fawaz Bham of Dallas, Texas, at the LCLD Award Ceremony on June 24.

Named after the founder of the LCLD, Chicago attorney Rick Palmore, the award “recognizes the outstanding achievements, commitment and leadership of Alumni who have left a lasting impact on their legal communities and the profession at large,” according to a press release from the LCLD. The award is the highest honor in the LCLD Alumni community.

“Patrick and Fawaz have been steadfast in their commitment to making the legal community more diverse,” Richmond attorney and LCLD President Robert Grey said. “Their efforts are inspiring, and they serve as role models for others in how to effectuate change.”

Fawaz Bham

Fawaz Bham

Fang, senior corporate counsel at Accenture in Arlington, is described by the LCLD as “an incredibly active member.” Within the profession, Fang has worked towards the advancement of diverse legal professionals by both supporting recruiting and retention efforts and in working to foster a sense of community.

The LCLD highlighted Fang’s work last spring to coordinate a forum where Asian legal professionals “could have a safe space to discuss their concerns and share experiences” following the murder of eight Asian women in Atlanta in March 2021. That forum later became Accenture’s Asian Legal Employee Resource Group.

“It is an honor to receive this prestigious award and I want to thank LCLD and Accenture for working relentlessly toward creating a culture and environment that support diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels,” Fang said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to honor Rick Palmore’s legacy, LCLD’s mission and Accenture’s commitment to creating a more diverse legal profession by using my platform and voice to educate, inspire and influence other leaders to advance DE&I initiatives and to advocate for the future success of all diverse lawyers.”

Described as “a rising star in the real estate world,” Bham works as a partner in the real estate practice group at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP in Dallas. The LCLD said in recent years, he has devoted time to produce actionable programs both within and outside of his law firm to advance diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and has broadened his outreach to include law students and junior attorneys.

LCLD President Robert Grey

LCLD President Robert Grey

Recently, Bham’s work has included launching the virtual clinic platform used by the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, which was created in 2020 in response to the closing of in-person legal clinics in the Dallas area due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The clinic has served more than 6,300 applicants and held over 100 clinics, featuring lawyers and staff from more than 40 in-house legal departments, law firms and nonprofit organizations.

“I pledge to continue to collaborate with my inspiring colleagues to build upon Rick’s work in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, and deploying our talents to advance our legal profession and to help our communities.” Bham said in a statement, calling Palmore “one of the great role models of our time.”

Leaders at the Front campaign

Earlier in June, the LCLD announced the completion of its Leaders at the Front campaign, continuing a productive summer for the nonprofit.

The initiative, first reported on by Virginia Lawyers Weekly in November 2021, was described as “groundbreaking.” The campaign required LCLD member organizations to make a public pledge to detail the steps they will take to advance diversity, equity and inclusion within the legal profession, detailing measurable actions to advance diverse talent.

Leadership Council on Legal Diversity logo

As of June 1, the LCLD reported that 93% of the more than 400 member organizations had completed their public pledge, with the LCLD working with the remaining “new or in transition” members to complete pledges as soon as possible.

“I am delighted that we have reached this milestone with our groundbreaking initiative that aims to make our legal profession as diverse as the nation it serves,” Grey said in a statement. “While there is still much work to be done, our member organizations, through the actions they are taking, are showing each and every day just how important these issues are.”

On the Leaders at the Front website, Grey wrote that “recent events in the United States have placed LCLD’s core mission — diversity and inclusion — front and center in the national conversation.”

“We believe that this gives the leaders of the legal profession a historic opportunity to create real and lasting change, both within your organizations and in society at large,” Grey wrote.

LCLD chair Ellen Dwyer said in a statement that the campaign’s success “reflects the tremendous commitment of our members to eradicating the systemic barriers that have stalled the advancement of diverse talent within our law firms and companies.”

According to a release from the LCLD, the nonprofit will work with members in the next stage of Leaders at the Front to implement their plans “by providing action-oriented workshops and supporting activities.”